Alliance Quantum grants
Call for proposals: Strengthening Canada's quantum research and innovation capacity
University researchers collaborating with organizations from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors
$50,000 to $500,000 per year
1 to 5 years
Quantum science is the study, manipulation and control of systems at the atomic and subatomic level. Quantum technologies are at the leading edge of science and innovation, both in Canada and worldwide. They will support the growth and transformation of key sectors, enable new economic opportunities and help advance a range of benefits for society. Canada is a leader in quantum research, and Canadian scientists are well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.
In Budget 2021, Canada committed to launch a National Quantum Strategy (NQS) to amplify Canada's significant strengths in quantum research; grow its quantum-ready technologies, companies and talent; and solidify Canada's global leadership in this area. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) supports the implementation of the NQS through funding opportunities that build on NSERC's sustained investments in quantum research. The results of the consultations held by the NQS Secretariat informed these funding opportunities.
Alliance Quantum grants will reinforce, coordinate and scale up Canada's domestic research capabilities in quantum science and technology through partnerships between university researchers and organizations from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. This funding opportunity will be delivered through various calls for proposals, of which Strengthening Canada's quantum research and innovation capacity is the first.
Your proposal may address any challenges in quantum science, but its thrust must aim to advance one or more of the NQS missions through the development of any of the following areas of quantum technologies:
- quantum algorithms/encryption, including post-quantum cryptography
- quantum communications
- quantum computing
- quantum materials
- quantum sensing
Collaborations that synergistically couple any of these quantum technology thrusts to other research topics in the natural sciences and engineering would be accepted.
Grant support ranges from $50,000 to $500,000 per year, for a duration of up to five years. NSERC will provide support for 100% of the eligible costs of research. Although partner organizations do not need to provide cash contributions to participate, they must actively play a role in the project and support it through in-kind contributions. A broad range of in-kind contributions could be made toward a project; refer to the Partner organizations web page for additional information.
Who can apply?
NSERC encourages the participation of early career researchers (ECRs) as applicants or co-applicants on Alliance Quantum grant applications. While applications led by ECRs will be assessed using the same evaluation criteria, the merit indicators used for the assessment include provisions for cases where the applicant's experience in managing projects or mentoring trainees is nascent. NSERC will monitor the success rate for ECR-led proposals to ensure that it is consistent with NSERC's aim to effectively support researchers throughout their careers. For more information on how NSERC categorizes an applicant as an ECR, refer to the Discovery Grants — applicant categories.
Even though NSERC will cover 100% of the project's eligible costs, you must have at least one partner organization (in the private, public or not-for-profit sector) whose cash contributions would be recognized for cost sharing, had there been any required (see Alliance grants: Role of partner organizations). You may include other partner organizations that play an important role in your research project, whether or not their cash contributions would be recognized for cost sharing, had there been any required. At least one partner organization must have the ability to exploit the project's research results.
Grants awarded for this call will support proposals of varying scale and complexity, from projects involving one researcher to projects involving researchers across several universities, and from one-on-one collaborations with one partner organization directly involved in the research to collaborations involving many partner organizations across multiple sectors.
National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships
In the case where your application involves one or more partner organizations from the private sector, including when they participate alongside other partner organizations from the public and/or not-for-profit sectors, you must complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships' risk assessment form and include it as an integral part of your application.
At all times, Canadian researchers are encouraged to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence to safeguard their research. Resources to do so are provided by the Government of Canada on the Safeguarding Your Research portal.